Landing while sleeping?

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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
Does the minuscule amount of recline availble in most UA 'Y' seats really make a difference?
No - you'll just need to take your chances with the old fashioned "grab the seat in front and pray" crash position.

Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
Please quote a source or two. If be very interested in reading about the details of this test...
I was searching for the Army air crash survival guide, but couldn't locate it just yet - you might able to find it faster since I'll be offline for a bit, but it's in there too. Here is another research paper to read in the meanwhile:
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/282780.pdf

The research has been around for a long time - the prone position, either forward on your stomach, or lying backwards is far more survival in terms of G forces than sitting up - however - when you consider blunt trauma from hitting something, sitting or lying down doesn't really matter.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Not on UA (a domestic Chinese flight) but this guy was the worst - I think he was non-rev. I was one of the first to board this 7am flight, and he was already there, seat nearly flat, tray table out with food and drinks. This guy must be connected to the airlines, as FAs bent over backward and served to his every need, and took his unreasonable demands. Finally, an attentive FA helped move his seat to the sitting position as we taxied and lined up for take off. Not even a minute after in the air, he's back in the sleeping position, and finally the whole episode repeated when we landed. I would have removed him if I was the working for the airlines.
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it's more likely he's connected to the goverment or Chinese Communist Party than the airlines. While the PRC has taken great strides toward modernization, it's still pretty dangerous to cross Party officials.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Not on UA (a domestic Chinese flight) but this guy was the worst - I think he was non-rev. I was one of the first to board this 7am flight, and he was already there, seat nearly flat, tray table out with food and drinks. This guy must be connected to the airlines, as FAs bent over backward and served to his every need, and took his unreasonable demands. Finally, an attentive FA helped move his seat to the sitting position as we taxied and lined up for take off. Not even a minute after in the air, he's back in the sleeping position, and finally the whole episode repeated when we landed. I would have removed him if I was the working for the airlines.
If you were working for the airline you would probably have known that he was a Princeling (or somehow connected to a senior official) and that removing him would have meant you would soon disappear yourself. I.e., even more severe than the FA who failed to put the Asiana (Korean?) Airlines president's daughter's cashews in a bowl.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
No - you'll just need to take your chances with the old fashioned "grab the seat in front and pray" crash position.



I was searching for the Army air crash survival guide, but couldn't locate it just yet - you might able to find it faster since I'll be offline for a bit, but it's in there too. Here is another research paper to read in the meanwhile:
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/282780.pdf

The research has been around for a long time - the prone position, either forward on your stomach, or lying backwards is far more survival in terms of G forces than sitting up - however - when you consider blunt trauma from hitting something, sitting or lying down doesn't really matter.
Many military transport aircraft have the seats all facing backwards. Pretty logical for crash survival I would expect (as long as the crash is AT ALL survivable of course!)
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
If you were working for the airline you would probably have known that he was a Princeling (or somehow connected to a senior official) and that removing him would have meant you would soon disappear yourself. I.e., even more severe than the FA who failed to put the Asiana (Korean?) Airlines president's daughter's cashews in a bowl.
Which is why these people (thankfully) rarely, if ever travel on non-Chinese airlines as their behavior would result in a swift boot in the behind sending them back up the jetway.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Actually it has been tested - the safest position is laying down, or being in a reclining position, as the body can handle far more sudden G forces in a reclining position vs sitting upright - however - with everyone's seat in a reclined or flat position, getting out of the aircraft quickly and safely after the accident you survived by being in the reclining position, is infinitely more difficult for you and everyone else. The FAA decided that somewhat-reduced initial survival with everyone upright vs the chaos, injuries and death from trying to scramble over, under, around reclined seats, or being trapped in a damaged or burning aircraft, is the better option of the two.
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
No - you'll just need to take your chances with the old fashioned "grab the seat in front and pray" crash position.

I was searching for the Army air crash survival guide, but couldn't locate it just yet - you might able to find it faster since I'll be offline for a bit, but it's in there too. Here is another research paper to read in the meanwhile:
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/282780.pdf

The research has been around for a long time - the prone position, either forward on your stomach, or lying backwards is far more survival in terms of G forces than sitting up - however - when you consider blunt trauma from hitting something, sitting or lying down doesn't really matter.
You need to be very careful when making generalizations about crash survivability in terms of seated position. By far the biggest factor is the magnitude and direction of the applied forces relative to the orientation of the victim. So yes, if the aircraft is in a horizontal orientation relative to the earth, but somehow crashed to the earth vertically, then laying down in a horizontal bed would be the most survivable position. However, most aircraft crashes don't happen that way.

Survivable aircraft crashes tend have the aircraft moving roughly parallel to the impacted surface. This tends to reduce the applied forces on the aircraft and passengers. Crashes with more perpendicular motion relative to the impacted surface tend not to be survivable at all due to the very large accelerations involved at impact along with major deformation/destruction of the aircraft structure.

BTW, the Lockheed document you referenced mostly discusses g force tolerance of prone pilots during sustained high g maneuvers. It's not really about crash survivability. The one reference that's slightly relevant is the discussion of how prone mice survive a vertical impact applied to their backs, but again, in terms of airline flat bed seats that only applies to a horizontal aircraft crashing vertically (highly unlikely). What this really means is that the most survivable position for a passenger in a crash is probably standing with their back facing the direction of aircraft travel and flat against a cushioned surface (a stand up "bed").

I'm not certain, but the doc you may be looking for is here (in 5 volumes):

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a218434.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a082512.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a218436.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a088441.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a082513.pdf
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
You need to be very careful when making generalizations about crash survivability in terms of seated position. By far the biggest factor is the magnitude and direction of the applied forces relative to the orientation of the victim. So yes, if the aircraft is in a horizontal orientation relative to the earth, but somehow crashed to the earth vertically, then laying down in a horizontal bed would be the most survivable position. However, most aircraft crashes don't happen that way.

Survivable aircraft crashes tend have the aircraft moving roughly parallel to the impacted surface. This tends to reduce the applied forces on the aircraft and passengers. Crashes with more perpendicular motion relative to the impacted surface tend not to be survivable at all due to the very large accelerations involved at impact along with major deformation/destruction of the aircraft structure.

BTW, the Lockheed document you referenced mostly discusses g force tolerance of prone pilots during sustained high g maneuvers. It's not really about crash survivability. The one reference that's slightly relevant is the discussion of how prone mice survive a vertical impact applied to their backs, but again, in terms of airline flat bed seats that only applies to a horizontal aircraft crashing vertically (highly unlikely). What this really means is that the most survivable position for a passenger in a crash is probably standing with their back facing the direction of aircraft travel and flat against a cushioned surface (a stand up "bed").

I'm not certain, but the doc you may be looking for is here (in 5 volumes):

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a218434.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a082512.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a218436.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a088441.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a082513.pdf
The research focuses on the prone or reclining position being the most survivable for high G force exposure. In terms of crashes, as you point out, it is highly dependent on how the aircraft impacts, and it also depends on the body's exposure to trauma in terms of impacting something. So while a reclining position will help with absorbing the G forces of a crash, nothing will help if the body is exposed to flying debris, or otherwise impacts against a part of the aircraft, which is really what will result in death or injury, G forces aside.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:43 pm
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Wife flew over to London yesterday on Virgin Took off and landed in full bed position.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The research focuses on the prone or reclining position being the most survivable for high G force exposure. In terms of crashes, as you point out, it is highly dependent on how the aircraft impacts, and it also depends on the body's exposure to trauma in terms of impacting something. So while a reclining position will help with absorbing the G forces of a crash, nothing will help if the body is exposed to flying debris, or otherwise impacts against a part of the aircraft, which is really what will result in death or injury, G forces aside.
If you are reclined, or either way not bolt upright, it also logically follows you would have less of a chance to be hit by debris.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
If you are reclined, or either way not bolt upright, it also logically follows you would have less of a chance to be hit by debris.
I think you're missing a key point in the overall discussion. Crash survivability depends on a large number of factors where small differences can matter greatly. For example, a small difference in lap belt position (low and tight against the pelvic bone versus higher on the abdomen) can make a large difference in injuries sustained and survivability (higher on the abdomen results in more internal organ damage - see the docs I linked earlier). What this thread is discussing is using a seat with a lap belt designed to be used with the pax in a seated position, but with the pax lying flat. That combination obviously puts the restraining belt in the wrong position for maximizing survival in a crash. The risk of injury or death from being improperly positioned relative to the lap belt in a seat likely far exceeds that from flying debris.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
I think you're missing a key point in the overall discussion. Crash survivability depends on a large number of factors where small differences can matter greatly. For example, a small difference in lap belt position (low and tight against the pelvic bone versus higher on the abdomen) can make a large difference in injuries sustained and survivability (higher on the abdomen results in more internal organ damage - see the docs I linked earlier). What this thread is discussing is using a seat with a lap belt designed to be used with the pax in a seated position, but with the pax lying flat. That combination obviously puts the restraining belt in the wrong position for maximizing survival in a crash. The risk of injury or death from being improperly positioned relative to the lap belt in a seat likely far exceeds that from flying debris.
However, in my experience travelling in J, lap belts are not used at all! Instead a three point belt with some sort of padded airbag contraption are fitted to the belts. I suspect the purpose of these belts is to provide protection during all phases of the flight including whilst in the air where you may be expected to be in the lie flat position and where there is a non-trivial risk of severe turbulence. If you are travelling in Y or PY where a simple lap belt is used, you won't even have the opportunity to go lie flat. At most you'll have a slight recline. But the point this thread is making, I suspect is about J and F cabins whose safety systems are designed entirely differently from that in steerage.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Feb 21, 19, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
There are many stupid rules. Like having your seat not reclined in economy in the back row. How does this matter? The recline is just a few inches anyway, given we are in economy. There is nobody in back of you (either nothing or a wall). How is this relevant to safety?
I have flown in the past seated in the back row of economy. If I was the first one to arrive in my row, I would recline all of the seats on my side of the plane the short distance so they were all touching the back wall. This usually lead to my seat being fully reclined for the flight, including takeoff and landing. The FA's would not notice b/c they are usually focused on looking for seats that are out of alignment to see if any are reclined.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
I think you're missing a key point in the overall discussion. Crash survivability depends on a large number of factors where small differences can matter greatly. For example, a small difference in lap belt position (low and tight against the pelvic bone versus higher on the abdomen) can make a large difference in injuries sustained and survivability (higher on the abdomen results in more internal organ damage - see the docs I linked earlier). What this thread is discussing is using a seat with a lap belt designed to be used with the pax in a seated position, but with the pax lying flat. That combination obviously puts the restraining belt in the wrong position for maximizing survival in a crash. The risk of injury or death from being improperly positioned relative to the lap belt in a seat likely far exceeds that from flying debris.
If you think about plane crashes, they are usually a direction that involves the plane hitting the ground from above. That means you may fly up. A seatbelt even when you are lying down in a bed still keeps you from flying up (plus I presume you wouldn't fly up very much anyway).
In terms of the forward direction, unless you crash into a wall or a mountain, it is unlikely. If it were a mountain you wouldn't survive anyway. For a wall, well, that shouldn't have happened in the first place. The slow-motion crashes when planes slide off the runway and end up running in something are not actually high-speed. The only one I can recall is the Asiana one at SFO, and that was unfortunate, and I think being thrown forward is the real concern there. But I don't think those are very common.
If you are flying at full speed and crashing into the ocean it is a moot point, almost everybody dies, because the plane just breaks apart. Or when planes break apart in midair, it doesn't really matter if you have a seatbelt.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by JohnneeO View Post
I have flown in the past seated in the back row of economy. If I was the first one to arrive in my row, I would recline all of the seats on my side of the plane the short distance so they were all touching the back wall. This usually lead to my seat being fully reclined for the flight, including takeoff and landing. The FA's would not notice b/c they are usually focused on looking for seats that are out of alignment to see if any are reclined.
I know there is a lot you can do. Like if you want to keep your bag at your seat, just throw your blanket/jacket over it and they cannot see it.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 12:02 am
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Wow. Where to begin. Especially since it's not clear where you're coming from with this.

Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
If you think about plane crashes, they are usually a direction that involves the plane hitting the ground from above. That means you may fly up. A seatbelt even when you are lying down in a bed still keeps you from flying up (plus I presume you wouldn't fly up very much anyway).
When an aircraft is "hitting the ground from above" objects inside the aircraft tend to continue moving downward and forward (simple momentum). For a passenger lying flat in a typical biz class bed they will tend to slide downward and forward under the lap belt. The belt will end up around their abdomen, chest, neck, head, or simply above their head. None of these options is very survivable.

Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
In terms of the forward direction, unless you crash into a wall or a mountain, it is unlikely. If it were a mountain you wouldn't survive anyway. For a wall, well, that shouldn't have happened in the first place.
Not certain what you're trying to say here. There are some crashes that are simply not survivable regardless of the seat or restraints. To state that a crash "shouldn't have happened in the first place" doesn't change the survivability implications of seat restraints.

Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
The slow-motion crashes when planes slide off the runway and end up running in something are not actually high-speed. The only one I can recall is the Asiana one at SFO, and that was unfortunate, and I think being thrown forward is the real concern there. But I don't think those are very common.
You haven't really defined it, but I'm guessing that by "slow motion crashes" you mean crashes that are actually survivable. These are the crashes where seat position and restraints matter the most for survivability.

Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
If you are flying at full speed and crashing into the ocean it is a moot point, almost everybody dies, because the plane just breaks apart. Or when planes break apart in midair, it doesn't really matter if you have a seatbelt.
There are always going to be cases where crashes are not survivable. That doesn't change the fact that restraints matter in terms of survivability in crashes where pax might survive.

Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
However, in my experience travelling in J, lap belts are not used at all! Instead a three point belt with some sort of padded airbag contraption are fitted to the belts. I suspect the purpose of these belts is to provide protection during all phases of the flight including whilst in the air where you may be expected to be in the lie flat position and where there is a non-trivial risk of severe turbulence. If you are travelling in Y or PY where a simple lap belt is used, you won't even have the opportunity to go lie flat. At most you'll have a slight recline. But the point this thread is making, I suspect is about J and F cabins whose safety systems are designed entirely differently from that in steerage.

Safe Travels,

James
I've flown dozens of different biz class seats on numerous airlines. Most of the seats I've experienced have only a lap belt, and I have yet to find one that has a only a shoulder belt and not a lap belt.

The belts absolutely provide some protection from injury during turbulence. However, the forces imparted by turbulence are entirely different from those imparted by crash loads. The presence (or absence) of a shoulder belt does not change the fact that biz class restraint systems do not provide optimal crash survivability in a lie-flat position.

Last edited by PHLGovFlyer; Feb 22, 19 at 12:17 am
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